How To Treat SunburnPosted on 10/01/2019
[By Biscuits & Makeup] Thursday, 10 January 2019
Australia is one of the best places to live but we also have the sun beating on our lands the hardest. Unlucky for us, we live near the equator and our ozone layer has been compromised over the years; we feel the worst of it. As a result, we are unfortunately too acquainted with sunburns and the pain and discomforts that it brings. It occurs when your skin is exposed to UV rays for long periods of time and it becomes overwhelmed and gets “burned”. Hence the term is coined “sunburn”.
We are all guilty of getting sunburned at least once in our lives, either by falling asleep in the sun, over-tanning our skin or just forgetting to reapply sunscreen. This article is going to help you understand how sunburn works, what ingredients are good to give you the best and quickest results and how to treat sunburn with Korean skincare.
Who Can Get Sunburned?
This is a common question that gets asked a lot. Most believe that they are immune against the sun’s UV rays – but no one is. The real answer is anyone can get sunburned. However, some are more prone to sunburns than others. There are several factors that contribute to the sun’s effect on the skin. These include;
- The amount of melanin in your skin
- Time period of exposure to the skin
- Thickness and moisture of your skin
- Previous experiences and more!
It is true that lighter-skinned individuals have a higher risk of sunburn than those with darker skin, especially in developing skin cancer as well. However, everyone can still get sunburned regardless. Just because you have dark or tanned skin, does not mean you are safe from the sun. Many have the misconception that if you have a different skin type, you would be affected differently. But this is not the case. The sunburn will be the same, though, the way you heal from the sunburn may vary.
Effects of Prolonged Exposure to the Sun
Putting aside the common symptoms of sunburns such as,
- Irritated/heated red skin
- Painful blisters
- Overly sensitive skin (may even be tender)
- Skin peeling
- Darkened skin
- Development of dehydrated skin or extremely dry skin
These are all short-term effects that occur after you get sunburnt.
You can also have long term effects which are detrimental to your skin’s health and are extremely difficult to reverse. These include;
- Developed sunspots or freckles
- Uneven textured and pigmented skin
- Premature aging (including wrinkles and age spots)
In some extreme cases, you can develop skin cancer; a disease which for the most part, can be prevented.
Ingredients Great For Sunburns
Over the years, certain ingredients have battled against sunburns and have come out on top to relieve, treat and soothe sunburnt skin. These include;
- Aloe Vera
The natural extracts of Aloe or direct juices of Aloe Vera help to soothe and moisturise the skin. After continuous use of this for 2-3 days, it will heal the skin. It may even prevent the skin from peeling depending on the severity of the burn. There are some products that have Aloe Vera as its dominant ingredient, such as Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner, Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel, COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+ or Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel, that work well to soothe the skin.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil does a very similar job to Aloe Vera, though it is less effective in soothing the skin. However it does soften the skin and give you a restored complexion. If you happen to have large pores or have combination or oily skin, Aloe Vera would be your better option.
- Witch Hazel
This ingredient has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Using this as a combination with some natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, would work wonders on sunburns.
- Vitamin C
As mentioned in our blog post review of the “Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop” serum, Vitamin C is a great ingredient to lighten dark spots, minimise the appearances of pores and heal sun damaged skin.There are many other derivatives that play a specific role in treating the skin as well. For example, Ethylascorbic Acid (Vitamin C Ethyl) is a derivative of Vitamin C that helps the skin to whiten for a more youthful complexion. It also is made to inhibit melanin from becoming darker when your skin is exposed to UVA. This ingredient is used in the SKIN&LAB White Vita-C Essence.
You wouldn’t think honey would be something to help with sunburn but it really does! It helps to soothe and moisturise the skin. It also has natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well. Though unlike Aloe Vera and Coconut oil, you can’t let it dry on your skin (unless you’re using skin care products formulated with Honey). Masks like the Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Sheet Mask or COSRX Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask are also great treatment options.
Hacks For Healing Sunburns
After the damage is done and you have treated your skin, the state and appearance of your skin won’t be the same. It will be textured, rough and it won’t be a pretty sight. But don’t worry! We have a few hacks we can share with you to bring your skin’s health back. You can probably already do these at home.
How to treat sunburn with Korean skincare hacks:
- 7 Skin Method
This method is something we have continuously praised to be one of the best methods to bring back the plumpness and radiance of your skin. All you need is an alcohol-free toner and you layer it on as much as you want (where 7 is the ideal number). Find out more about this in our blog post, The Korean 7 Skin Method. If you happen to be lazy, you can always buy dry sheet masks, drench them in your favourite alcohol-free toner and wear it as a sheet mask. This will work just as effectively (if not better!).
- Chemical Exfoliation is Key!
Usually towards the last stage of sunburns, your skin may be dry and won’t seem to restore back to normal. You can accelerate the process by chemically exfoliating your skin with either an AHA or BHA (depending on your skin type). By doing this, it promotes new skin cell turnover and you’ll get that glass-like skin in no time! Read more in our complete guide to exfoliation.
Caution: do not use chemical exfoliation while your skin is still sunburnt! This step is only once you have treated your burn and it has healed, leaving you with healed but rough, dry skin.
- Sheet masks keep the dry skin away
We have said this once and we will say it a million times more, a sheet mask is an affordable way to moisturise your skin as well as repair it. This is especially a great way for dry skin individuals to maintain the water levels in their skin. For sunburns, look for sheet masks that contain Aloe Vera, Centella Asiatica, Honey or Snail. These ingredients help soothe, heal and repair damaged skin.
- Ice it up or Aloe Vera it up!
If your skin is still feeling like it is burning up, you can always get an ice cube, wrap it in a cloth and circulate it around the burnt areas. But an even more effective way to soothe your skin is to slice up some Aloe Vera leaves, put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes and then apply it directly on your burns. The cooling sensation will calm down the swelling and also help moisturise your skin.
- Put your products in the fridge
By doing this, you add that extra cooling effect to your product which helps calm down the swelling of your skin. Storing products in the fridge, as a bonus, will also increase the longevity of the product too!
Though the hacks above are solutions to sunburnt skin, it is always better to prevent something from happening than to treat it:
- Always reapply sunscreen! Leave a bottle in your bag at all times for convenience and easy access.
- Drink lots of water!
- Wear a loose and light outer T-shirt to reduce the amount of sun exposure to the skin. Or better yet, stay in the shade when you can.
- Bring a spray mist around to help cool down your skin on the go!
- Moisturise your skin frequently to prevent dehydrated skin.
Well that is all folks! We hope this blog post helped you to relieve the stress of sunburns and prevent further occurrences.
Wishing you an amazing start to 2019. May this year bring you a lot of joy and great skin!
How do you usually treat your sunburns? Have you used any of the methods above? Let us know in the comments below!
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